iOS app Android app

Daniel T. Blumstein
GET UPDATES FROM Daniel T. Blumstein

Entries by Daniel T. Blumstein

A Teachable Moment About Plastic Bag Bans

(5) Comments | Posted March 20, 2013 | 11:28 AM

A friend emailed me asking my opinion on a paper that quantifies the effect of plastic bag bans on emergency room visits for infectious intestinal diseases. I'll let the author's figures tell the story here.

Figure 1 shows the quarterly number of ER visits in San Francisco County...

Read Post

How to Really Green the Super Bowl

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2013 | 1:56 PM

Last year the National Football League used renewable energy at Super Bowl sites as part of an on-going commitment to 'greening' their games. While I am enthusiastic about the NFL's attempts to use sustainably sourced power, reduce consumption, recycle waste, and reuse unused material--all things that they take...

Read Post

A Natural Stewardship Amendment

(2) Comments | Posted December 27, 2012 | 5:16 PM

A number of state constitutions explicitly gives legislators the responsibility for stewardship of natural resources for the benefit of future generations.

For instance, Article I, section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution says:

The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural,...
Read Post

Save a Marmot: Send Blankets to Colorado

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2012 | 2:05 PM

We've just cancelled our pre-Christmas family ski trip for the first time ever because of lack of snow. The Colorado high country is usually blanketed by three to six feet of snow by this time of year. In over 15 years of pre-Christmas, Colorado skiing we've had a range of...

Read Post

How Important Is Long-Term Ecological Research?

(3) Comments | Posted December 4, 2012 | 12:43 PM

We Americans love our baseball. According to, Alex Rodriguez was the highest-paid baseball player in 2012, earning a cool $29 million for his efforts. Meanwhile, the payroll of the best-paid team, the Yankees, was $210,430,969, and the payroll of the worst-paid team, the Astros, was $36,987,370. Clearly,...

Read Post

Why Data Matter

(14) Comments | Posted November 7, 2012 | 7:04 PM

I've been silent during the recent election run-up because of what I viewed as a major disconnect between data and punditry, and because important issues that I care about were simply not discussed (more on that later). Data never lie, but pundits are people, and people like to put their...

Read Post

Marmots, Plastics, and Why I'm Alarmed Over Our Over-Chemicalized Society

(15) Comments | Posted August 3, 2012 | 12:30 PM

The Olympics have gotten me thinking about mammalian sex determination, and reminded me of something I learned recently by studying marmots in the field that has scared the heck out of me.

The story involves one of my favorite words (stay tuned), but the implications should scare us all....

Read Post

Is This the New Normal?

(68) Comments | Posted July 13, 2012 | 11:11 PM

I'm not the only one who is pondering the extreme weather we've been having in the U.S. this summer. Pick up any newspaper or read pretty much any news magazine and there's discussion of the extreme heat waves we've been having in the continental U.S.

At my Colorado field...

Read Post

The Sound of Fear

(4) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 12:56 PM

The first time I heard a marmot pup scream I almost dropped it. The sound was like I had just stepped on a cat, or a baby! It was loud, whiney, and noisy. The frequency went up and down rapidly. Physically, I heard it in my ears but I felt...

Read Post